First Abigail book is now free

Well, we’ve finally got to where I thought we’d be from the start: first Abigail book is now free, and the next one has but a modest cost. Trouble is, as far as I can tell, you can only do a free promotion for 5 days within any 90 day period. I was rather thinking I could make the first one always free, and piggy-back the others on that. A loss-leader, if you will.

I suppose from Amazon’s POV, a free book generates no revenue, and therefore should be encouraged but sparingly. I am reminded of a placard held by some low paid workers demonstrating for more money after being offered something like 3%:


Well, we’ll see how it goes.

Meantime, I am bashing on with Abigail 3 (‘The Core’). Now up to about 22k words and on final chapter. Even though I say it myself, it’s breathtakingly exciting.

Mind you, that could just be me bigging it up so I keep going. To a certain extent, I’m watching myself watching myself. There’s me, the soon to be discovered writer of fantastic stories, being watched by me, the cynical bastard who doesn’t think it’s ever going to happen.

But then I once read a definition of a successful writer as one who doesn’t give up, and I do have a certain stubborn streak.

As I said, we’ll see how it goes.

Hello to all my readers!

……. and a big apology for not having done anything with this blog for a while. To tell the truth I sorta thought no-one was reading it, so I’ve been in a ‘woe is me’ mode about it for a week or so. Anyway, here’s an Abigail Saltminder update:

  • Abigail 2 (‘the Underside’) has now been published, with a super-dooper cover done by Sally (note to self: add to this blog)
  • The website is now out there (note to self: add link to this blog)
  • I am currently 17k words into Abigail 3 (‘The Core’) out of a projected 20k. So that should be published maybe November. Again, it’s fast and pacy with plenty of things happening. By writing in 20k chunks I’m trying to avoid the mid-novel doldrums. You know what I mean: the boring bit in the middle between the big bang start and the explosive end. Usually when character is explored and relationships are developed and conversations are had, when all you want is for someone to come through the door with a gun and start shooting.

And in other news …… nothing. Still can’t work out what to do with FaceBook, so haven’t logged on for weeks. I hear they are adding a ‘dislike’ button. Sounds like one of the dumber ideas of our time, as surely it’s ambiguous? Supposing someone posts a selfie where they look awful with the comment ‘WTF! I look dreadful!’ And someone dislikes it, what’s that meant to mean? But then I’m coming from the standpoint of someone who’s never done a ‘like’ anyway.

And Twitter? I’ll try and do a tweet later today, but more and more Twitter resembles a crowded street where everyone is mumbling to themselves and no-one is listening.

So all is normal at planet Toby c. Zara!

‘Nuff said!



So where am I now? In social media hell

So it’s been a few weeks since Abigail 1 (The Complex) was published, sent forth to conquer an entirely indifferent world. Conquer? I think not. 2 copies sold, one to a friend of Sally’s and one to a daughter of mine. Both supportive, but no real feedback, no review and I rather think they haven’t actually read them. Or if they have they kept quiet because they either hated it or didn’t manage to finish. And if the latter then it’s really the equivalent to hating it as it’s only a 90 minute read, and if you can’t find space in your day to finish a book that short, well …..

So what am I doing now? Trying desperately to utilise social media to generate some reviews, preparing Abigail 2 (The Underside) for publication and writing the first draft of Abigail 3 (The Core).

In other words it’s decapitated chicken time in social media hell.

It’s the Social Media stuff that really gets me, as I not only don’t get it, I don’t know why I don’t get it. I mean I’m pretty smart, I’ve lived a life, cripes, I’ve even been to Bournemouth! But it all appears so intrusive, somehow. Particularly Twitter, which seems exactly the same as wandering about a crowded street muttering to yourself. I’ve been forcing myself to tweet once a week, and I try to make it witty, but always a self-conscious, false self-deprecating note manages to creep in, as if, behind the scenes I’m really saying ‘haha, look at me, trying to use SM to market my book, ain’t I just the business, haha!

I’ve also joined FaceBook, but can’t think of anything to say or share, and GoodReads where I’m struggling to complete my profile, and the Kindle Users Forum, where everything seems so hidden beneath layers of menu options I haven’t yet managed to find out or look at any comments people have made to my ‘hello there’ post.

No, tell a lie: I did, once, and wrote a reply to a woman who said welcome aboard or some such, but since then haven’t been able to work out how I got there.

So what happens is that after an hour or two making absolutely no headway I give up and try and get on with Abigail 3, but by then I’m depressed and down and nothing much gets done.

Finally, Toby Zara has got a FaceBook page!

Well, after maybe two months of prevarication and dither, Toby Zara’s FB page is in existence, with an added page for Abigail.


Ha! Remember all my numerous words about how I was gong to do it and what images to show? All blown away by hurricane force Sally. She created it, put in some images and kindly suggested changing my mug shot to a cartoon she’d done of a generic type sitting at a typewriter, with a wobbly mug of coffee to one side. I objected to the typewriter, wanting Toby to at the very least exist sometime since typewriters were phased out in the last 20 odd years or so. But having spent a lot of time asking her how to ‘do’ social media, it is beholden on me to take her advice.

So, there y’go. Toby Zara now has a FaceBook page, and the world hasn’t suddenly ground to a halt.

You can visit it here!

And Abigail’s page here!

GumTree diary

This is my diary of how I’m getting on with replies and responses to my ad(s) in Gumtree. I’ve done it in reverse date order, so if you want to start at the beginning, scroll down to the bottom and work your way up. When I have time I’ll try and insert links to items down the page, or even turn it into a series of posts

Read more

Gumtree advert

Coming in from Gumtree? Follow this link

OK, so I have to craft this carefully. Needs to catch the attention.

I’ve just visited Gumtree, and had a look at posting an ad. Not a thing I’ve done before. And what d’you know: it’s a bit more structured than shoving a postcard in a shop window.

Read more